In photos: Story of the Japanese Grand Prix
10 October 2017 – Lewis Hamilton bagged his eighth victory of the season, as Sebastian Vettel's title hopes diminished amid another Ferrari setback. GPUpdate.net provides a pictorial review of the Japanese Grand Prix.
Ferrari loses its spark
Ferrari's attentions on the grid were once again diverted into fixing one of its cars. A week previously it was Kimi Räikkönen's SF70-H under the spotlight, at Suzuka it was a faulty spark plug on Sebastian Vettel's car causing grief, as mechanics desperately tried to address the problem.
Hamilton leads away
Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton maintained his advantage off the line as the wounded Vettel slotted into second, while Max Verstappen set up a move on Daniel Ricciardo. In a relatively clean start, only Stoffel Vandoorne lost out significantly, having been edged onto the grass exiting Turn 1.
Verstappen passes Vettel
Verstappen, having overhauled Ricciardo, made a move stick on Vettel into the hairpin, a finely-judged pass, albeit with the caveat that the German was power-compromised. Vettel pulled into the pits a few laps later, while Verstappen began his pursuit of race leader Hamilton.
Sainz Jr.'s sad STR farewell
Carlos Sainz Jr. had hoped to deliver a stirring drive on his Toro Rosso swansong but clumsily spun into the barriers at Turn 6 on the opening lap, having admitted to taking a risky approach in his bid to gain places.
Bottas plays the team game
Hamilton and Verstappen slotted in behind Bottas following their switch to fresh tyres, and the yet-to-stop Finn plays the team game, releasing Hamilton before staying out for an additional few laps, hindering Verstappen. The Dutchman later caught Hamilton through traffic in the closing stages, but the positions do not change.
Ricciardo holds off Bottas
As one Red Bull chased one Mercedes, one Red Bull fended off the other Mercedes. Daniel Ricciardo came under increasing pressure from Valtteri Bottas during the closing laps but held on to claim third.
Hamilton's pieces of eight
Hamilton's victory, his eighth of the campaign, strengthened his cause for a fourth world title, as he now sits 59 points clear in the standings. Four events remain – in the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi – and he won each of the corresponding races 12 months ago.
Hamilton rocks the 'Mobot'
Hamilton celebrated his victory with the 'Mobot' on the podium, in deference to four-time Olympic Gold-medallist Mo Farah, who was present at the Japanese Grand Prix as a guest of Hamilton and Mercedes.